Thursday, March 6, 2014

Blinking at the Antics of Putin

 Blinking at the Antics of Putin

This may be condign punishment for Obama’s foreign policy carelessness and for his wishful thinking about Putin as a “partner” and about a fiction (”the international community”) being consequential. It certainly is dangerous.
  ~~George H. Will, Misreading Putin, and history . . .

Whoever first conceived of “condign punishment,” must have been, to put it charitably delusional.  Punishment is necessarily an after-thought to what has been construed as a misdeed or a transgression.  Well-deserved and adequate, the closest adjectival equivalent to “condign” that I can come up with, are relatively arbitrary conceptual categories at best.
To the victim of a crime what might be acceptable as adequate punishment depends on the victim’s disposition.  Even Shylock’s pound of flesh, with or without the attendant drop of blood may prove to be inadequate.  It largely depends on what the punishment is meant to accomplish which in turn is determined by what kind of justice is being administered.
Some theorists on jurisprudence identify as primarily given, arbitrarily I may add, four types of justice.  These are corrective, retributive, procedural and distributive justice.  They bring forth the delicate question of who needs to be punished.  A hunt for the perpetrator of a construed crime is an industry by itself, worthy of the wild imaginings of a Dick Tracy, a Sherlock Holmes, or an Edgar Allan Poe, etc.
When it comes to the country’s Foreign Policy, there appears to be very little confusion as to who is responsible and who should be punished.  They are not necessarily the same entity.  Moreover, whoever is responsible is not necessarily susceptible to punishment.
The case of Presidents Vladimir Putin and Barack Obama is deliciously if tragically instructive.  As I emphasized earlier elsewhere {p.262 op. cit.},
But it has always been my contention, since I started becoming aware of politics, that without any exception, any nation invariably deserves the leadership that happens unto them, regardless of the process (or errors) they come by it.
It is tragic because by my reckoning at least, Pres. Obama richly deserves to be accountable for his crimes of omission.  Unfortunately, having already been re-elected, he is no longer, in the normal course of events susceptible to any form of punishment, appropriate or otherwise.  Consequently, it is “we the people” who eventually deserves the punishment.  That we will get it is a certainty.  Whether or not we deserve it so is a matter of ideology.
Let us proceed to count the ways.  Once again, I resort to quoting myself {see p. 232 op. cit.}:
. . . When people swoon over the profundity of such meaningless pronouncements as “we are the ones we have been waiting for,” you can be dead certain that a segment of the populace is seized with the malady that can only be characterized as political dyslexia, if not outright dementia.

It is not so much that some people are mesmerized by the rhetoric of President Obama that is disastrous for the country. Rather it is the eventual creation of a political underclass which will perpetually be wards of the government that bodes disaster. This is the end that every policy initiative espoused by the Obama regime appears designed to accomplish. . . 
We can for certain mend our ways respecting future endeavors.  As to how promptly we can recover from the Obama Presidency disaster depends on how lucky we can get and whether American Exceptionalism is as potent as it has been traditionally purported to be.
Meanwhile life moves on and we play the cards we have at hand.  We suffer through the three-ring circus of ObamaCare.  We muddle through the rituals of another mid-term election campaign.  With all the equanimity we can muster we bear our penance, furtively heeding the somber if rather neurotic admonitions of Fyodor Dostoevsky:
. . . stand at the cross-roads, bow down, first kiss the earth which you have defiled, and then bow down to all the world and say to all men aloud, 'I am a murderer!' Then God will send you life again. . . .


  1. LXIX
    But helpless Pieces of the Game He plays
    Upon this Chequer-board of Nights and Days;
    Hither and thither moves, and checks, and slays,
    And one by one back in the Closet lays.

  2. America’s step-over line/deadline/red line outrage is long past monotonous and empty — and the result has been an ever scarier world.